V-Groovers

A basic description of V-grooving equipment and its use for making miter-fold joints using veneered stock. November 13, 2008

Reprinted with permission from MLS Machinery, Inc.

V-Groovers are predominantly used in the speaker industry to make a box for the actual speakers. Most speakers are laminated with a vinyl or a veneer and if a veneer is used, it has to be pre-taped with a type of scotch tape which can be manually or automatically placed on the veneer with special tape application machines. This tape has to be stuck on the veneer as said but on the side opposite to where the V-groove will be made. V-grooving, as the name implies, cuts a V-shaped notch into the wood, which is basically two 45 angles giving a 90 angle. The cutter cuts the V all the way down to the "taped" veneer or vinyl in this V-shape. The only thing being left is this very thin vinyl or tape which if not handled properly can easily break. This tape or vinyl will act as the hinge when the part is finally folded. Once the V is folded, it will create a 90 angle. Glue is applied inside the V, which will bond and once dry will make one side of the box. In a speaker you would have four sides so this process would be done four times, thus creating four Vs in the part and once folded would create a box. This type of production is also used for some vinyl or veneer laminated cabinets as well as legs for pool tables and many drawer companies are producing mass produced drawers for the kitchen cabinets and K-D furniture industry. The drawers are made exactly the same way as the speaker box discussed above. Some of these machines are very sophisticated and quite expensive.

Multiple cross groovers are available which can do multiple V-grooves at the same time. These are used for large production runs such as the speaker or drawer making industries. For small production, manufacturers might use a single cross groover where only one V-groove at a time can be made. The part is pushed through a sequence of stops and at each stop the V-cutter will pass through the part making as many notches as is required.

Lineal V-groovers are used for V-grooving along the entire length of the board as opposed to cross V-grooving which puts a V across the narrow section of the part. Lineal V-grooving is used to put a false front on the front of a cabinet or speaker. The part is passed, as an example, nine feet long through the lineal V-groover, which might have a fancy cutter on it which can do a multiple batch of small V-grooves in one pass. These grooves, when folded, will create a false fancy front. When the V is folded, instead of making just a 90 degree angle, it might make a very fancy front leaving an illusion, once the glue is dried, that the wood is much thicker than it really is. As an example, a manufacturer could start off with a 1/2" thick piece of particle board, laminate it with vinyl or veneer and finally land up, after going through the above processes, with a front that is three inches thick, yet underneath there is only 1/2" of material.

In the speaker industry after the part has gone through the lineal V-groover, it can pass in line to a V-folding line. Here the part will be cleaned and blown out of any excess sawdust produced by the lineal V-groover; the part will be folded automatically by a sequence of rubber rollers after a combination of cold and hot glue is shot into the V-groove. At the same time as this is being done, the opposite edge could be painted. If a folding line is not used, the entire operation can be done by hand.

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